Lagosians have taken to social media platform, Twitter, to decry the incessant and cunny means in which officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) have allegedly been extortion motorists.
A Twitter user who identifies himself as @tundeleye wrote out a thread on the topic explaining how these alleged scams and ‘rackets’ are set up with the aid of non-LASTMA staff.
“The MO. Vehicle breaks down around Adeniji. A “scout” comes to offer help. It seems he alerts affiliated @followlastma officials. The Lastma comes and tell you it’s a dangerous area to be because of Adeniji boys who will come and rob you. They seem to target people who are alone.
“If what they want to do is to help, shouldn’t they simply stay with the person until their Mechanic arrives? But no, they insist on towing the vehicle to the “safety” of their office. Of course because they are not helping. They are setting you up for extortion.
“When they get to their office which is slightly separate from the main Sura office, the ones that bring you in promptly disappear and make themselves unavailable. The towing guys then demand towing fee of 15K from you, plus 2K gate fee to let you out.
“These towing guys don’t wear uniforms so they aren’t @followlastma officials. But they are clearly working together and the Lastma guys give them direction and instruction. It’s this money they they want to collect that is their aim for insisting on towing you to safety.
See full thread here,
Now that I'm home and rested, recapping on today. The @followlastma in Sura are running a terrible racket. They prey on vulnerable people, front as if they are trying to help them and force that help on them. Then they essentially detain their vehicles extort them— Tunde Leye (@tundeleye) June 2, 2020
“I hear that this behaviour by @followlastma officials is not restricted to only Sura. People commented about Apapa (for cars that stop in the Ijora area) and Iponri (for cars that stop around Funso Williams). They are a plague and a pestilence preying on the vulnerable.”
Many respondents affirmed the information on the thread by also reliving some of their personal experiences at the hands of the traffic officers.
This has been going on. Lastma now use area boys as their agents in effecting arrest or towing vehicles.— Bolu O (@bolu_oj) June 3, 2020
I totally agree with you..they now use area boys to patrol. I thought them a lesson last November. About 9 of them laid ambush and expected it will easy to deceive me but I was lucky my Tacoma was rugged and it defied their iron barricade..I escaped! Ensure u lock ur doors always— 'laolu (@planetwash007) June 3, 2020
This is true. This is so true. I have experienced this.— Agbontaen. (@IamTheOsaze) June 3, 2020
Somehow I escaped because I called their Zonal Commander who told them to let me go. They still insisted that I “drop something”. Even their unit lead is in on it. He acts decent but he is in on it. That day I knew their M.O
I remember this story well. They intentionally blocked the road; advised road users to follow Brt Lane and then signal to other lastma officials to arrest them in front. That's the reason Teni didn't give them the 10k bribe— Akebaje (@__Demilade) June 3, 2020